On December 7th, at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA, Mumford & Sons performed for about two hours of sheer enjoyment. Even from their opening act (Maggie Rogers, a ridiculously talented emerging artist in the indie music scene reviewed by another DJ– read about her here!), I knew this was going to be an unforgettable experience.
Even though my love for this group has fluctuated over the years as they release each new album (it takes me a while to adjust to the changes in style), I’ve been a pretty big fan from the get-go. Honestly, my fondness for their usage of the banjo knows no bounds, and its absence in their later work hit me pretty hard. The titular album of this particular tour, Delta, also took a bit of getting used to. The banjo was still lacking, but the chill, sweeping orchestral nature of the tracks won me over.
They did a fantastic job of mixing high-energy jams with slower-tempo tunes, and the combination of their new music with fan favorites helped me understand why the mood of their newest album was made to feel so different. It’s calmer and flowing, and songs like “Picture You” and “The Wild” were a perfect fit among staples like “I Will Wait” and “Little Lion Man”. Regardless, the rhythm and soul behind each and every song was infectious, and any audience member could clearly see the group’s joy and energy throughout the entire performance. They were just enjoying themselves, and that made it all the better to watch. Even though I was up in the nosebleeds, I felt connected to the action below.
They gave it all they had and came across as so humble. The crowd around me was extremely responsive too, and we managed to make them laugh through some lyrics a couple of times. It kind of reminds you that they’re human, not just celebrities.
I was already a fan of the group before this concert, but I have an entirely new appreciation for all of the hard work that goes into their performances, and their genuine talent amazed me. Each band member played multiple instruments throughout the show, with lead singer Marcus Mumford actually playing the drums at one point while he was singing (an impressive feat).
I can’t stop listening to their albums now, and each song brings back the wonderful memories of that night. Everything sounds different, but in a good way, and I find myself smiling after almost every track. Seeing them perform these songs live has brought a new dimension to them that I hadn’t heard before.
But the best part? Getting to see someone absolutely shredding on a banjo.
By Nina Spoelker ’21